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Sunday, October 24, 2021

GPs enlisted to vaccinate older and vulnerable Australians against COVID-19

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General practitioners are being requested by the Federal Government to vaccinate older and more vulnerable Australians against COVID-19 in their own homes.

Federal minister for health Greg Hunt said it means GPs can visit aged and disability care facilities to help vaccinate residents.

“… we’ve approved the ability for GPs to be able to visit people in aged care homes, people who are at home who are frail or immobile in some way,” Hunt told radio 2GB’s Ben Fordham in Sydney.

“We’re still encouraging as many people as possible to visit their doctor, or to visit the Commonwealth or state clinics, but we’re very focused on making sure that everybody has the opportunity to be vaccinated.

“… what this does is for people who are frail and unable to move, they may not be in a residential aged care facility – or they might – then the potential opens up for GPs to be able to join them.”

Under the new scheme, doctors will be paid about $56 for a home visit, on top of the vaccination fee they receive from the Commonwealth.

“It’s a significant fee but it’s appropriate and fair to help encourage the GPs with their time,” Hunt said.

“It’s about expanding the vaccination program, bringing it to people.”

Hunt said afterhours access is also becoming more available.

“There are many clinics which are open for longer hours and also on weekends – that’s a combination of the state clinics, the Commonwealth, what are called ‘GP respiratory clinics’, and many of the general practices are holding Saturday or Sunday clinics or afterhours clinics.”

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